Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity
Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): The most recent radar measurements done by ALOS-2 satellite of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) show that the summit of the volcano has inflated by the enormous amount of approx. 16 cm during the interval 4 Jan – 17 August this year. This suggests that a significant batch of new magma is currently stored in the volcano’s upper plumbing system and the question remains when and how it might erupt. While surface activity at the volcano has remained very calm, authorities continue to prepare for the possible scenario of a major eruption in the near future. More worrying signs of volcanic unrest started to appear: according to FNN News, volcanic gas releases have been detected at the sea floor of the Futatsumata Port on the northern shore of Sakurajima peninsula (located approx 4 km from summit).
Cotopaxi (Ecuador): volcano remains calm. Only low-energy degassing is being observed from the summit crater. During yesterday’s overflight, no significant changes to the crater morphology have been detected. The explosions from Friday and Saturday were likely phreatic in origin, i.e. did not involve fresh magma directly.
Barren Island (Indian Ocean): An ash plume was reported this morning, at estimated 5,000 ft (1.5 km) altitude, extending 50 km to the east from the island (VAAC Darwin). This suggests that a new phase of activity is occurring at the volcano. A moderately strong hot spot also visible on satellite data since mid August.